Five things to know about snow

17th January, 2018

With a yellow warning about the snow that’s forecast to fall this week in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England we thought it would be interesting to share with you five facts about snow you might not have known.

It doesn't have to be freezing to snow
Generally, the air temperature does need to be at, or below, freezing for snow to fall. If rain falls persistently through air with a temperature of up to 6°C for a long period, it can cause the air temperature to fall low enough for the rain to turn to snow. 

Every snowflake is unique
Part of the enduring appeal of snowflakes is their intricate appearance and huge variation. The number of possible combinations of temperature and humidity as the snowflake falls to the ground is limitless and means each one is unique. If you look closely at a snowflake you will see countless individual features, all having formed differently in direction or shape.

Snow isn't white
While snowflakes appear white as they fall through the sky and accumulate on the ground, they are in fact totally clear. The ice though is not transparent like a sheet of glass is, but rather translucent meaning light only passes through indirectly. The many sides of the ice crystals diffuse the reflection of light resulting in their white appearance.

Eskimo words for snow
The idea that Eskimos have a hundred words for snow has become an accepted truth. Recent studies suggest that Eskimos do in fact have many more words for snow than in English. The dialect spoken in Nunavik, Canada, for example has at least 53 separate words including 'pukak' to refer to crystal-like snow that looks like salt, 'matsaaruti' meaning wet snow to ice a sleigh's runners and 'qanik' to refer to falling snow.

Chionophobia - the fear of snow
Originating from the Greek ‘chion’ meaning snow, and ‘phobos’ for fear, Chionophobia is the condition of being afraid of snow. It is often thought that this stems from childhood events such as a sledding accident or being hit by a snowball and symptoms include cold sweats and panic attacks.

Book your snow clearance
One more fact about snow that you need to know is that it can be a major disruptor to your organisation if you do not have snow clearance plans in place. So, why not take action now to protect your customers, visitors and staff from the worst the winter weather can throw at your premises’ pavements, roads and car parks? Make sure your winter gritting and snow clearing is organised by giving is a call today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your site

Eskimos have a number of words for the different types of snow

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